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Two days had passed, and they were on their way back to Paris, when Valjean turned to him in the carriage and said, "Now that you are... ah, yourself again," and Javert froze in mortification.

He had been out of it enough during the rescue that he wasn't sure it had really happened, but he remembered those words -- "You are not yourself," -- and the way Valjean had stumbled over them after Javert had... kissed him. God, he'd really been hoping he'd just dreamed that part. Bad enough he'd injured himself, worse that he'd had to be rescued, but the worst humiliation by far, of everything he remembered, real or imagined, was the idea that Valjean might know that Javert desired him.

But if he had done it, he had done it, and if the price of his foolishness was suffering through the sort of painfully awkward polite demurral Valjean would no doubt give him, it was no worse than he deserved.

"Of course I am myself," he grumbled. "I have never been anyone else."

"Then, I-- that is, if you--" Valjean stopped, cleared his throat, and ran both hands through his white hair, leaving it disheveled in a way that reminded Javert quite vexingly of why he had kissed Valjean in the first place. "Do you think... you might like to do it again?"

Javert's mouth fell open in a startled 'o'. He felt his face heat, probably turning an undignified color, and his breath seemed to have frozen in his lungs. Suddenly he remembered that, in his dizzy memories, Valjean had kissed him back. It had not even occurred to him before this moment that, if the other parts were true, then that one might be too.

He was sure that he'd had a number of misgivings about the idea of becoming... involved with Valjean, even if Valjean did want to, and in fact his brain was dutifully attempting to enumerate them. The trouble was that his brain seemed to have forgotten how to speak French.

To be fair, he was not convinced that any concern he had would compare to the memory of Valjean's lips pressing against his.

"I--" He drew in a shaky breath. "Do you want me to?"

"That is why I asked," Valjean breathed, and when Javert did not move immediately, stayed by a sudden dizziness, he continued in a rush, "I had thought you would have realized by now that it was only fear that you were not in your right mind that stopped me before. But you have not-- you did not speak of it, and I did not know if--"

Javert all but leapt across the carriage to join Valjean on the opposite bench. "Valjean," he said, interrupting the deluge of words, and Valjean stopped -- and met his gaze avidly, lips parted, a flush high on his cheeks.

Oh, hell, this was a terrible idea, he knew this was a terrible idea even if he couldn't remember why just now, but he didn't care at all with Valjean looking at him like... well, like he wanted to be kissed. Which he had said that he did, and here was Javert, just staring at him like a fool instead of kissing him.

Yet surely this time he could do better than just dragging Valjean's mouth to his in a daze, as he had before. At least then he'd had the excuse of being half insensible from all he had been through. Leaning closer, he raised his hand to Valjean's jaw, feeling the slight prickle of stubble beneath his fingertips, and the fine tremor that ran through Valjean at the delicate touch, a tremor he mirrored as Valjean's warm breath ghosted over his thumb. For a moment he was afraid to move, lest he... he did not even know what he feared he would do. Displease Valjean, frighten away his good luck, wake up in an empty bed... it would not even surprise him, if he found this were a dream. Why should Valjean want to kiss him?

Valjean turned his head and touched dry lips to the side of his thumb, and all Javert's breath shivered out of him at once. He slid his hand back, into the soft white curls at the nape of Valjean's neck, and leaned in closer still. Now it was his lips that Valjean's breath feathered over instead of his hand, and he was paralyzed anew with wanting.

He was still frozen when Valjean instead closed the distance, both his hands cradling Javert's jawline lightly as he drew their faces together, his eyes still open, wide and dark. His lips brushed over Javert's, then pressed more firmly, and Javert made a low, helpless sound against them, struggling to be still and not just wrap himself around Valjean like a clinging vine, or clench his fingers too hard in Valjean's hair.

Perhaps it might have been easier if Valjean himself were not so careful with Javert. He had never been kissed before, so all he knew of it came from observing others, and nothing he had seen as either prison guard or police spy had prepared him for tenderness, for reverence. Not one bit of it could help him navigate how to touch a man who rightly ought to hate and fear him, but instead refused to abandon him even when directed to do so, and now trusted him with such an intimacy.

He did not have any idea what he was doing. He wanted to crush Valjean to him, devour his mouth, and at the same time he was already slowly unraveling from nothing more than gentle fingertips on his jaw and soft lips moving against his.

Valjean's hands fell from his face to rest on his shoulders, and his lips parted on a sighing breath. Javert parted his as well, and it seemed as though every sensation was magnified tenfold, setting his nerves alight. Both his lips closed gently over Valjean's lower lip, and Valjean made a low sound, his hands clutching the lapels of Javert's coat, and crowded into his space as their mouths parted and came together again.

Now Valjean's tongue slid slick against his bottom lip for just a moment before retreating. Javert had never seen the appeal of having someone else's tongue in his mouth before -- it had seemed entirely off-putting, vulgar and sloppy, when he had seen other people do it -- but this tentative, sensual touch was nothing like what he had seen. He pulled Valjean half into his lap, feeling the warmth and strength of that broad back under the palms of his hands, and deepened the kiss, letting his tongue touch Valjean's lightly. It was not vulgar at all.

Javert felt as though he were moving underwater. Perhaps time had slowed down around them, or perhaps it had sped up and it was they who were moving slowly now. When they parted for breath, Valjean raised his head, his lips out of reach; Javert pressed his mouth to the side of his neck instead, tasting his skin eagerly, and Valjean drew in a sharp breath.

"Ah, Javert," he groaned, bending his head down to claim Javert's mouth with his own again. Now he was no longer so cautious, the press of his lips bolder, the clasp of his hands rougher, and it threatened to undo Javert just as surely as his earlier carefulness had, to know by that contrast how much Valjean was affected. Valjean's hands would not stay still, restlessly brushing and clutching at his neck, his arms, his sides, and Javert closed his eyes and let himself get lost in the kiss, his awareness narrowing to the way their mouths and bodies moved together.

If there had been time to think on it, he would have expected that Valjean would not let this go on too long, circumspect as he often was... but though he took things no further, he did not stop either, kissing and kissing Javert as if he were content to keep doing it forever. All of Javert's bones had turned to liquid; he sank down beneath Valjean until he was nearly on his back on the seat of the carriage, bent awkwardly at the shoulders, while Valjean held himself up on hands and knees. One of his knees was between Javert's, and though it remained still, it was by far a greater distraction to Javert than his restless hands. He wanted to pull Valjean down against him, find out if Valjean's prick were as hard as his, and grind up against him until they both found release... but even more than that, he wanted to touch.

He wanted to feel Valjean's prick hard in his own hand, see his face as he was touched, and hear the sounds he made. He wanted that even more than his own release, though he doubted it would be far behind if he watched Valjean come undone by his hand.

When he broke the kiss, trailing a hand down Valjean's body, Valjean pulled back to sit on the bench again, gasping softly, "Ah... Javert, we should--" but Javert was already following, sitting up and reaching out.

The sound Valjean made when Javert laid his palm over the fork of his trousers was going to haunt his dreams.

No more words of circumspection passed Valjean's lips. His eyes closed for a moment in rapture and then opened again, wild; his mouth hung open, at first soundless save for harsh breaths after that one shocked moan, and then, when Javert moved his hand to trace the hard shape beneath, it was as if a sluice had been opened, and all kinds of helpless sounds poured forth.

Javert groaned in sympathy, fumbling with the buttons of Valjean's trousers until he could curl his fingers around bare flesh, grasping and stroking inexpertly. He wanted to kiss Valjean again so badly, but then he wouldn't be able to watch, to see the naked, almost anguished want on Valjean's face as his hips bucked up into Javert's touch -- or to hear freely which touches would elicit a prolonged moan, and which a hitched, broken sound. Valjean scarcely moved apart from that involuntary jerk of his hips; his hands clutched without purchase at the thin cushion on the bench, his back was pressed to the wall of the carriage... and his stunned gaze was fixed on the sight of Javert's hand on him.

Javert did not know how it was that his hand on Valjean's prick could make his own so achingly hard without any corresponding touch, only that his need to feel every detail -- how soft the skin was, the slickness that his hand spread from the head down the hard shaft, the feel of it in his hand -- was only slightly less than his need for air right now.

It did not take much longer for Valjean to find his release. He went silent first, panting breaths again the only sound for several long moments. Then he choked out, "God in heaven, Javert," and spilled his seed over Javert's hand, shaking, his head thrown back and his eyes shut. Afterward, he pitched forward against Javert's body, fumbling to get his arms around him as he took great gulping breaths of air, while Javert clumsily reciprocated the embrace with one arm, overwhelmed by arousal and barely lucid enough to avoid making a mess of Valjean's jacket.

Though it must only have been a few moments, it seemed like an agonizingly long time before Valjean stirred, his lips moving against Javert's neck... which did nothing to ease his condition at all, but he retained just enough of his wits to wait for Valjean to act, and at last he groaned in relief as Valjean surged into his lap, kissing him firmly and pressing a thigh between Javert's. That alone was nearly enough to tip him over the edge, and when Valjean shifted so that he, too, could open Javert's flies and touch with his own hand, it did not take more than a couple of tentative strokes before he was overcome.

He thought he must have made some kind of sound, but all his senses were blotted out by the gut-punching rush of pleasure, and unlike a punch, it didn't stop after the initial shock of it, but continued as Valjean did not still his hand right away, until he was too dazed to discern anything as precisely defined as a hand, or a prick, or what his limbs were doing.

By the time he regained his senses, Valjean had pulled him into his lap and was running light, restless hands over his back, sides, and arms, now and then smoothing his hair, and Javert just... let him, because Valjean was warm, and he felt so languorous with satiation that moving seemed like far too much trouble, a terrible hardship indeed.

Eventually he remembered that he could kiss Valjean, though, and that seemed worth any amount of trouble, so he tilted his head up to find Valjean's mouth, and kissed him long and slow and lazy, until the fact that they were in a moving carriage filtered back through his senses and memory, and he realized that they had just become... very carried away, in a moving carriage, and he could not muster up one bit of regret.

"Ah," he said, drawing back from Valjean (that, he did regret) and feeling his face heat as he realized that both of their trousers were still open, and he felt... a bit sticky.

"Ah," Valjean echoed, in a similar state of color, and pulled a handkerchief from a pocket inside his jacket, "let me just..." He tidied Javert up first, flushing more darkly as he reached for his spent prick. It was possibly the most awkward thing that had ever happened to Javert, but the touch of fabric on over-sensitized skin wrung a shiver from him, and he leaned in to kiss Valjean with no intent but contact (and perhaps not having to figure out where to look).

Valjean returned the kiss for a moment, and then pulled back, reaching for Javert's hand with both of his and keeping his gaze on what he was doing as he wiped it clean. "We should... there are things we ought to discuss," he murmured. "Before this goes any further. That we should have discussed before it went this far," he added sheepishly, and Javert froze in place.

Things that, if the discussion went badly, would likely mean that none of this would happen again. Valjean would not want to kiss him, would not touch him with reverence he did not deserve, would not say his name like a prayer or a cry of longing...

He might not wish to see Javert at all. Perhaps that would be better than trying to go back to before he knew what Valjean looked like when he spent himself... or than trying to resolve the dissonance between his convictions and Valjean's confounding history.

Or he might somehow manage to muddle through this conversation, despite his utter lack of... any social graces to speak of, really, not just the ones that would explain how to behave toward someone he wanted to bed, let alone someone he was beginning to think he might like to wake beside, to whisper his confidences to in the hour before dawn, someone who challenged everything he believed to be true, and least of all someone who should never want him back and somehow did... and then he might ruin it later.

Hell, he'd take the chance. And he'd try as hard as he could not to make an irremediable mess of it, but even if he did, it would be worth it just to have seen Valjean like that the once. "You have a point," he admitted. "I do not know what I--"

"Not now," Valjean interrupted gently. "When we stop for the night. We'll both be thinking more clearly when we have... a little bit of distance from what has already passed."

"I... am not sure I will be thinking more clearly, when we are alone together in a bedroom and I am not already sated," Javert murmured. He did not quite realize what he'd said until he saw the flush spread over Valjean's face.

"Ah, well, that is... something to consider," Valjean said, flustered; his eyes had gone dark again. Javert wanted to kiss him.

Instead, he tugged his hand from Valjean's grasp, looking away from Valjean as he put his trousers to right. In his peripheral vision he saw Valjean produce a second handkerchief and clean himself up, and he waited until Valjean, too, was properly in order before he spoke again. "I did not mean to-- I only intended to kiss you. Not that I didn't want-- that is-- I would not want you to think I did not-- and I, I have never--"

"Javert," Valjean mercifully interrupted him before he stopped even being able to put words together in any sensible order at all. "I also... this is-- new. To me. And I felt so good... I could not think."

"Ah," Javert spoke up quickly, "that is exactly what I meant."

"Which is why we need to think, and then talk, about what we each want. If there is no common ground... it is better we know sooner, rather than be unpleasantly surprised later." Valjean rose and crossed over to sit on the opposite bench, and gave Javert a cautious smile. "Though I would hope we will find some after all. It would be a terrible shame not to have the chance to take our time with each other."

Javert groaned plaintively. "For God's sake, Valjean, how can you say we must stop and think and then say things like that?"

"If it is any consolation," Valjean said lightly, "I had to think of it before I could say it. Perhaps it would be best if we kept such thoughts to ourselves right now."

"You may be right," Javert admitted, settling more comfortably onto the bench now that he had it to himself, even if he would have preferred to be crowded together with Valjean, kissing him again, touching him at leisure... he had not so much as unbuttoned Valjean's jacket yet! ...that was not something he should be dwelling on now. Not when he still didn't know what he wanted, save for Valjean himself, and with his sense of time ruined by having been caught up in desire, he did not even know how much longer they would be traveling... he might have to figure it out fast.